Our human experience is about systems: From our own internal biological systems, to our family, social, school, work, and community systems, and even beyond to broader global, solar and astronomical systems; each part of any system affects the functioning of the others.
“Mental Health” is about addressing the health and well-being of our mental systems, which encompass our emotional, cognitive, developmental, behavioral, and relationship functioning. When any of these aspects of the self are challenged, it affects our other internal systems, as well as our ability to effectively function and interact with others.
When one member of the family struggles with challenges to their mental and emotional health, it affects all others in the family system.
Families experience a range of challenges; from stresses related to managing the normal developmental processes of childhood, adolescence, and family life, to those related to loss, trauma or life disruption, or to the challenges of biologically based mental illnesses. Over 4 million children and adolescents in the United States suffer from a mental illness that causes significant functional impairments in their lives. Despite effective treatments, many families often delay or do not seek help. An untreated mental disorder can lead to a more severe condition that is more difficult to treat.
Most families, at one point or another, reach out to, and benefit from, the services of professionals that assess, assist, and treat these various issues. According to a recent national poll by the American Psychological Association, 48% of respondents reported a visit to a mental health professional by someone in their household in the past year.
The good news is that as varied difficulties can be, there is an equal array of services and providers in our community experienced in helping youth and families respond to and successfully manage these challenges.
The organizations of the Northland Children’s Mental Health Collaborative are committed to helping families throughout the region respond to, and successfully meet these challenges together.